Needless to say, the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is kicking up a lot of suspicion and skepticism. Not only does the U.S. government want to block it, now long-time opponent Sprint has upped the stakes by throwing down its own lawsuit to stop the deal.
The Justice Department’s complaint cites antitrust issues, and “the Now network” is filing suit on the same grounds, calling out AT&T, AT&T Mobility, Deutsche Telekom, and T-Mobile specifically.
“Sprint opposes AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile,” said Susan Z. Haller, vice president-Litigation, Sprint. “With today’s legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.”
Sprint’s lawsuit focuses on the competitive and consumer harms which would result from a takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T. The proposed takeover would:
– Harm retail consumers and corporate customers by causing higher prices and less innovation.
– Entrench the duopoly control of AT&T and Verizon, the two “Ma Bell” descendants, of the almost one-quarter of a trillion dollar wireless market. As a result of the transaction, AT&T and Verizon would control more than three-quarters of that market and 90 percent of the profits.
– Harm Sprint and the other independent wireless carriers. If the transaction were to be allowed, a combined AT&T and T-Mobile would have the ability to use its control over backhaul, roaming and spectrum, and its increased market position to exclude competitors, raise their costs, restrict their access to handsets, damage their businesses and ultimately to lessen competition.
Obviously, AT&T has a different take on the matter. In fact last spring, it even put out a promo video to explain its side of the story (below). Here’s the clip again — take another gander and then weigh in: Do you think the deal will benefit more people, as the video contends, or do you agree with Sprint/U.S. government that it would put more people at the mercy of less competition and higher prices? Tell us if you’re for or against this acquisition in the comments.